My Name Is Earl

Season 2 Episode 23

The Trial

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM May 10, 2007 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
277 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Things are finally looking up for Earl with a G.E.D., a job, a new apartment and a love interest. However, it may all come crashing down during Joy's trial date. Earl's shocking testimony could help Joy, but at what cost?

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  • Joy!!!

    I think I dispise joy because of letting poor earl go to jail.Just beacause of stealing a truck joy.Doesn"t mean you have to put poor earl in jail.I wish the judge would let Earl go.Maybe in the next season Earl and Joy tell the truth.(Please Police)I want to see what happens in the next!
  • With The Trial, My Name Is Earl really comes into its own, blossoming from a consistently funny sitcom to a truly brilliant television series.

    For its first season and a half or so, My Name is Earl was great. Episodes were fun, and the characters were likeable. But just when the show seemed to be headed towards ongoing formulaicness, things started happening. Overarching storylines became more and more important, characters started really developing and changing. By the time "The Trial" came, we'd learned new, surprising, and wonderful things about the characters, and they'd really become multidimensional- far more than the simple stereotypes they could have easily been. This season two finale really captured all of what elevated Earl to a new level- yes, it's funny, with the same great humor that's been consistent all throughout the series. But the episode was surprisingly touching as well, hitting an emotional core not completely realized by the series until that point.

    The season ended with a shocker (spoiler): Earl is in jail, presumably for a long time, and his list is in total jeopardy. The act itself was surprising, and very touching considering Earl sacrificed himself for Joy, and best of all there isn't anyone outside the show that can have any clue as to how season three is going to handle it. But with great episodes like "The Trial," a deft blend of comedy and even drama, it's hard not to have faith in the showrunners that Earl will continue to be one of the best shows on TV.moreless
  • Heart warming. A roller coaster of emotions.

    This episode was more than heart warming, it was almost a reminder that we all have to sacrifice things sometimes for the greater good.

    Earl and Joy's lawyer wasn't that odd, but it did get a little freaky toward the end. I liked the idea of Earl finding someone in general. Darnell and his children struggling was a low but when it sorts itself out it all becomes part of the bigger picture.Earl's sacrifice.

    Overall this episode had me feeling ups and downs from start to finish. It doesn't end on a high note but it does leave you wanting more instantly which is so fantastic as a viewer.

    Of course there are tonnes of laughs ala Earl style and I can't wait for the next season which I hope is later this year or early next year.moreless
  • Earl pays a big sacrifice

    In order to complete item #273 on the list, "Kept myself from being an adult," Earl and Randy move out of the hotel and into an apartment. Despite this step, Earl still feels that something is missing in his life.

    Joy has been apprehended in Mexico and returned to Camden, where she is being kept in jail until her trial. On the advice of her lawyer, Joy asks Earl to track down some character witnesses for her. Earl stops off at Joy's trailer, finding Darnell in pitiful shape. Joy's absence has left him depressed, helpless, and unable to control the children.

    Seeing Crabman in this state causes Earl to realize that his own life is incomplete without a woman. Earl calls his former girlfriend Alex (from the season 1 episode "The Professor"), but discovers that she is now married.

    On his quest for character witnesses, Earl is unable to locate anyone who has anything good to say about Joy, and goes to visit Joy's lawyer to deliver the bad news. The moment Earl sets eyes on Joy's lawyer, Ruby, he falls in love with her. Ruby is smitten with Earl as well, and after learning of the list and how Earl has changed his life, Ruby decides that Earl would be an ideal character witness for Joy.

    Earl and Ruby go out on a date and end up sleeping together. As they lie together in bed, Ruby reads through Earl's list, and discovers that she is on it. Earl realizes to his horror that she is the deaf girl whose apartment he and Randy had previously robbed. Ruby ignores his apologies and storms out.

    At the trial, the case is going badly for Joy, but Ruby manages to discredit all the evidence. With the trial resting on Joy's character, Earl testifies earnestly and seems to have won over the jury. However, the prosecutor responds by playing tapes of Earl's own distress calls to the emergency services, fearing for his life from Joy's alarmingly violent behavior.

    The testimony is damning, and Earl realizes that Joy will be convicted based on his own words. Realizing also how Darnell and the children will suffer if Joy is sent away, Earl decides to do something truly adult and confesses to stealing the truck, taking the rap for Joy. Ruby is greatly impressed at Earl's selfless action. The judge is impressed as well, but because Earl waited so long to "confess," he sentences Earl to two years in prison. After receiving a sincere expression of thanks from Joy, Earl is escorted from the courtroom.

    As Earl is being processed as a new inmate, he reflects on how he has now become an adult, but has sacrificed everything in the process. Wearing prison blues, he is led to his cell, where he discovers that his cell mate is his friend, Ralph.moreless
  • Oh my gosh :) A great way of ending the 2nd Season of the show! Couldn't have been much more better in my oppinion!

    It was a perfect episode! Nothing could've been better!

    Earl has got his new job as a Salesman, and also his new appartment... Everything in this episode is hillariously funny :D... Except for the end, which I think was pretty sad :/

    Joy got caught in Mexico at a diner, and Earl is going to be one of the whitnesses at her upcoming Trial. Earl hooks up with Joy's deaf loiar, and after they've slept together she finds something on the list which doesn't make her that happy. He He... :) Back in the days Earl and Randy heard that there was an deaf lady living in Camden County, and they thought that it couldn't be hard to break-in to her appartment and steal some things, and so they did... She starts to dislike him, but at the end things become better between them... Well at the trial everything looks surprising for a start, but at the end things starts to look very bad for Joy, as the prosecute plays a couple of tapes in the court, of Earl calling the police when Joy's done something...

    At the end, Earl tells everyone that he was the one who did it! That he was the one who stole the truck. The judge sentences him to 2 years in prison.

    And he have to give up everything he had, his appartment, his job, his car.... Yeah everything he owns! Did I miss something? Oh yeah.... The list!moreless
Christine Taylor

Christine Taylor


Guest Star

Marlee Matlin

Marlee Matlin

Ruby Whitlow (Deaf Lawyer)

Guest Star

Chelcie Ross

Chelcie Ross

Mr. Waadt

Guest Star

Abdoulaye N'Gom

Abdoulaye N'Gom

Nescobar A Lop Lop

Recurring Role

Giovanni Ribisi

Giovanni Ribisi

Ralph Mariano

Recurring Role

Timothy Stack

Timothy Stack


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • When Earl talks to Catalina, she says "Gracias por ver nuestro programa. Los vamos a extranar este verano. ?No te paece comico que Earl piensa que yo le estoy diciendo cuanto yo odio a joy pero en realidad le estoy diciendo cuanto los quiero?"

      This roughly translates to:

      Thank you for watching our program. We're going to miss you this summer. Don't you think it is funny that Earl thinks I'm telling you how much I hate Joy but in reality I'm saying what ever I want?

    • When the tape with Earl's phone calls is played, during a montage of Earl, Darnell, Joy and the others, all listening to the tape and growing concerned, one of those people is Ruby, but Nescobar and the Chinese woman are not translating anything for her and being deaf, she can't hear a thing.

    • The card Earl shows Ruby after "hanky panky" (as Earl put it) actually asked if she has read Tolstoy.

    • Featured Music:
      "Sister Christian" by Night Ranger
      "Baba O'Riley" by The Who
      "House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals
      "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" by The Rolling Stones

    • (Re-)Introduced and crossed off in this episode

      #33 Been a lazy lover.
      #273 Kept myself from being an adult.
      #273C Move out of the motel.
      (Previously introduced in episode "G.E.D.")

      Also, while the number and exact wording are unknown, the list item Ruby discovered was probably something along the lines of "Robbed a deaf woman."

    • The Chinese guy who took over Earl and Randy's motel room is the same as in the season final of the first season. He's also standing at the exact same place (next to the door of the bathroom). As to point that out, when Earl comes back in the room, the guy says: "It happens every year!"

      The Chinese guy is the same actor, the kids are different - according to the audio commentary the actors wanted too much money, which is why the kids wear scuba masks to hide their faces.

    • The scene where Dog the bounty hunter arrests Joy in Mexico is ironic. In reality Dog once did crossover the Mexican border to arrest someone and the Mexican authorities tried to have him extradited back to Mexico because in Mexico bounty-hunting is illegal.

    • The person who arrests Joy in Mexico is Duane "Dog" Chapman, a professional Bounty Hunter and star of Dog The Bounty Hunter.

    • The song playing at the end of the episode is House Of The Rising Sun by The Animals.

    • During the translation scene in the courtoom, it beggers belief that the Chinese woman is fluent in American Sign Language but can't speak rudimentary English, when ASL is based on that tongue.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Judge Miller: Mr. Hickey, it showed guts to step up and not let an innocent woman go to jail. But waiting this long to do it, shows that you're a piece of trash.

    • (Earl is about to be placed in his prison cell)
      Earl: I had finally become an adult, only to have everything taken away.

    • Earl: Do you have any last minute advice before I take the stand?
      Ruby: Yes, pretend you're not an ass.

    • Nescobar-A-Lop-Lop: We will prove Joy Turner is guilty. (Commotion ensues) My bad. Not guilty!

    • Earl: This was it. The big day. Joy's trial. And with her facing the possibility of her going away for life, I wanted to make sure the jury had a really good view of Darnell's droopy hair and the kids' sad little faces.

    • Earl: Randy, I need your help.
      Randy: Shhh! You're gonna wake them up! This is the first time they've slept in 3 days.
      Earl: He's getting ice cream on the carpet!
      Randy: Touch them and you die. Sorry, I'm a little frazzled.

    • Lulu: I haven't seen her in a few years. Last time she was here, she drank too much cherry wine and had a threesome with my parents.

    • Randy: So it's not fun, huh?
      Inmate: It's lonely in Solitary. I miss my cell mate.
      Randy: Why'd they put you in Solitary?
      Inmate: I killed my cell mate.

    • Joy: Earl, get your ass down to the jail right now! There's about to be a race riot and me and the baby are on different sides.

    • Earl: Me and Randy had just moved in to our apartment and were having breakfast.
      Randy: Man, everyone here is so friendly. I even got some helpful advice from one of our neighbors last night - When I go out looking for an ice machine, I should put on pants. Oh, and there is no ice machine.

    • Randy: The dresser, the bedspread, the lamp, the television, the telephone ...
      Earl: Randy was pointing out all of the things he was going to miss at the hotel, cause it was our last night there. We were moving.
      Randy: The vending machine that takes buttons, Paul the sleepwalker guy from downstairs.
      Earl: Yeah, I'm gonna miss Paul, too. We've had some good times here. Except the gas leak. That was kinda scary.
      Randy: Wasn't that bad. We slept through most of it.

  • NOTES (6)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic: U soudu (In Court)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Czech Republic: November 25, 2009 on Prima COOL

    • According to the audio commentary, the James Bond song "Live And Let Die" was going to be playing at the end of the episode instead of "House of the Rising Sun", but some people weren't crazy about it and it was changed.

    • According to the audio commentary, instead of the kids putting M&M's up Randy's nose, they were going to shave his head. But Ethan didn't want his head shaved and a bald cap would have looked cheap.

    • When creator Greg Garcia first saw the episode, he had thought Randy's line "touch them and you die" had been digitally done, but it wasn't - it's all Ethan.

    • This episode was nominated for the 2007 Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series.


    • Intervention

      Tim Stack at the 'Crab Shack' says he is going to be on a reality show called 'Intervention.'

      INTERVENTION profiles people who are losing the battle with their addictions, and whose friends and families feel the only remaining option is to hold an intervention.

      Each documentary follows the lives of these addicts, taking an unflinching look at the impact of their addictions on their everyday lives, all the while the addicts are unaware that an intervention is being planned.

      Each airing ends with the friends, family and a professional interventionist urging the addict to get treatment. If the individual should choose treatment, the addict immediately enters a widely respected treatment facility.